Columbus Crew SC delivered on their lofty aspirations from a twenty fifth Main League Soccer season like no different, successful MLS Cup 2020 in convincing style in what’s doubtless the final main recreation at MAPFRE Stadium, the primary soccer-particular floor in league historical past.
Behind an impressed efficiency from membership-file signing Lucas Zelarayan, the Crew resoundingly beat the Seattle Sounders 3-0 on Saturday evening at house, denying Seattle a championship repeat and returning to MLS’s peak for the primary time since 2008. The Crew, who entered new possession in 2018 after a fan-led motion to maintain the membership in Ohio, overcame unbelievable adversity to raise the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
Zelarayan put an exclamation level on his MLS Cup MVP presented by Audi performance, icing the sport within the 82nd minute by making it 3-0. The Argentine playmaker collected a Luis Diaz move atop the 18-yard field, then lashed house his left-footed shot to the highest nook to cap a clutch efficiency from the midfielder.
The Crew had been with out winger Pedro Santos and midfielder Darlington Nagbe as a consequence of COVID-19 constructive circumstances, although their absences had been hardly noticeable – particularly throughout a dominant first half. And Columbus discovered their reward within the twenty fifth minute when Zelarayan made it 1-0 for the hosts, peeling to the again put up and keen a left-footed shot previous Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, profiting from a deep, early cross from proper again Harrison Afful.
The Crew doubled their lead six minutes later, with Derrick Etienne Jr. curling house a fragile shot to the far nook. The Haitian worldwide winger earned the 2-0 benefit within the thirty first minute, one-timing a proper-footed shot with finesse after Zelarayan faked his shot and picked out the incisive move.
Seattle made 4 substitutes between halftime and the sixtieth minute, together with each outdoors backs, trying to recapture the magic of their comeback victory over Minnesota United FC within the Western Conference Final.
These efforts fell quick, although, with Nicolas Lodeiro almost cushioning house a layoff from Jordan Morris within the 71st minute. Cristian Roldan additionally got here shut within the 51st minute when his nook-kick header missed the highest nook, and Morris hit the crossbar with a header within the eightieth minute. But they could not get one previous Eloy Room, who completed with with two saves upon his return to the lineup.
Columbus might have banked a 3rd purpose within the first half, however Frei reacted effectively to maintain out a robust Gyasi Zardes shot within the seventeenth minute. The Crew’s middle ahead collected a cushioned header from Josh Williams off a nook kick, but his left-footed effort was denied on the doorstep.
- 25′ – CLB – Lucas Zelarayan | WATCH
- 31′ – CLB – Derrick Etienne Jr. | WATCH
- 82′ – CLB – Lucas Zelarayan | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Crew are transferring into a brand new soccer-particular stadium subsequent 12 months, and there’s no higher strategy to welcome that period than this MLS unique capping 2020 with a title. In addition they missed the playoffs in 2019, however had been within the Supporters’ Protect race a lot of this 12 months till accidents took their toll. Add in COVID-19 circumstances throughout the postseason, and quite a bit was going in opposition to Caleb Porter’s workforce. However they buckled down, replacements like 19-12 months-outdated Homegrown midfielder Aidan Morris stepped up they usually stopped Seattle from successful their third MLS Cup in 5 years. The Sounders had the “been there, achieved that” card, but it didn’t matter in the long run.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Lucas Zelarayan was merely stellar for the Crew, offering two targets and one help. He completed the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs with two targets and 5 assists in 4 video games, proving why the Crew made the previous Tigres UANL midfielder a Designated Participant.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The two-0 purpose from Derrick Etienne Jr. within the thirty first minute was completely scientific and despatched a transparent assertion. The Crew had been throughout Seattle within the first half, and this insurance coverage strike formalized how the sport would unfold.